Scouting Along the Erie Canal
Erie Canal Historic Patch
Those of us that live a stones throw from the Erie Canal grew up singing "15 Miles on The Erie Canal" but do we really take the time to learn about how important this man made wonder is to our area?
A new official Scout award issued through the William Hillcourt Museum of Longhouse Council in Central NY encourges Scouts 10-18 years old to learn about the history of the canal, traverse 15 miles and perform a few other Erie Canal and CNY related tasks. Once completed Scouts earn a beautifully designed patch depicting a traditional packet boat with good old mule Sal. A medal featuring Sal can also be purchased as well as a hiking stick medallion.
This is a great opportunity for Webelos and Arrow of Light Scouts, located in NY that might be fresh off of learning about the canal, but older Scouts can also take advantage of this award and might want to explore via canoe trip or camping along the canal which is now available in several locations. Look here for more about camping along the canal.
While you're completing this adventure you can also sign up for the Erie Canal Challenge.
The requirements for this award are listed below.
- With your Den, Troop or Patrol, plan to traverse at least 15 miles of the Erie Canal either by hiking, by bike, by boat, canoe or Kayak or a combination of each mode of transport. Keep a record of historic markers and locks that you pass. 15 miles to hike was chosen as it aligns with the Erie Canal Song and also with the Erie Canalway Challenge mentioned above.
- Visit or pass through at least one lock. Learn about the present day traffic on the canal. Satisfy your leader that you understand how a lock works and why they were important.
- Visit/tour the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse or one or more of the many historic canal sites in the state.
- Visit the Salt Museum in Syracuse either in person or virtually (https://video.wcny.org/video/insight-insight-012717/) at Onondaga Lake Park and learn how the Canal was important to the salt industry in Syracuse.
- Discuss with your adult leader or partner the transformative effects of the Erie Canal on the past, present, and future of our country. If you are part of a group working on this award this may be a group discussion.
- Write a report of no less than 200 words to explain what you learned about the canal and its historical importance as well as present day uses. Submit it to your unit leader for review. Optional requirement, post a video to YouTube of 3 minutes or more about your experience, what you learned and sharing shots of what you saw and did while earning the award.
It is up to your unit leader to decide if you have met all of the requirements for this award.
The Erie Canal Trails Medal will be awarded for completion of the above requirements and the completion of at least a 15 mile distance along the canal. There is no time limit or minimum # of hikes to reach 15 miles.
Patch and Medal
Information on how to purchase the patch, medal and medallion can be found here William Hillcourt Museum Erie Canal
William Hillcourt Scout Museum
Address: 491 Kibbie Lake Rd, Constantia, NY 13044
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